NGO’s respond to UN biofuels reversal

March 31, 2014

As we wait for the Environmental Protection Agency to make the final ruling on the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reversed its stance on biofuels development in a report released this week. 

A group of NGO’s are echoing many of the IPCC’s concerns on climate change, global hunger and the environment.

Environmental Working Group Biofuels Research Analyst Emily Cassidy says:
“The UN panel’s findings should alert U.S. policymakers that mandating the production and use of corn ethanol threatens food security, intensifies competition for land and water and fails to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Clean Air Task Force says:
“It’s increasingly unlikely that biofuels can play a significant role in climate change mitigation, and it’s increasingly clear that conventional biofuels like corn ethanol and palm biodiesel are net contributors to global warming… As climate change intensifies, the report finds, biofuel production will likely contribute to increased deforestation and land degradation, decreased biodiversity, less available freshwater, more land grabs, and greater food insecurity.

ActionAid USA Director of Policy and Campaigns Kristin Sundell says:
“The IPCC has made it clear that biofuels are not a solution to climate change. In fact, biofuel production is deepening the impact of climate change on vulnerable communities. It makes no sense to divert huge tracts of prime agricultural land from food to fuel just as changing climates and more extreme weather threatens harvests around the world.”

ActionAid USA Senior Policy Analyst Brandon Wu says:
“Climate change is already wreaking havoc on food security in developing nations. To avoid catastrophic impacts, especially on the world’s most vulnerable people, immediate financial assistance must be provided to help developing countries adapt to climate change.

Those who are least responsible for causing climate change are the most vulnerable to the climate impacts that are affecting crops and food security. In the United States, we are going to see food prices rise, but many people in developing nations may end up with no access to affordable food at all.”

We will continue to update this post as more organizations weigh in; until then, send a letter to Gina McCarthy at the EPA demanding consideration of the IPCC report.